Modern Vikings are true to the Viking culture. We celebrate the holidays and sacred days in the Norse calendar. One such holy day is the Freyfest or the Freysblot, celebrated on July 31st or August 1st.
MEANING OF FREYSBLOT
Blot is the term in Norse paganism which means, 'sacrifice'. This blot could be dedicated to any of the Norse gods, the spirits of the land and to the ancestors. The sacrifice involves aspects of a sacramental meal or a feast.
ORIGIN OF THE FREYFEST
According to Norse paganism, this date marks the turning of the wheel of the Lammas. It actually depicts that we are halfway through the year or halfway between the Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox.
In Norse paganism, this holiday signifies the first harvest of the year, mostly of the grains. The word Lammas is an in scripted word, which translates to, 'loaf mass', in the modern language. In early times, the first harvest of grains and baked loaves were sacrificed to bless the church.
Freyfest, freysblot, lammas and lughnasadh are just a few names that were given to this time of the year. The traditional custom of the holiday starts when we begin to gather the fruits of the labors from the hard work. As the months proceed, we collect the harvested food, to be used in the upcoming winter seasons and wait for the blissful cooler months.
CAUSE OF THE FREYSBLOT HOLIDAY
In Norse calendar, this is the day to honor the Norse god of fertility, Frey. It is actually a Heathen or an Asatru holiday.
On this day, the followers bake fresh loaves of bread in different shapes, especially in the shape of a phallus, to honor the Norse god, Frey. The followers then symbolically sacrifice the bread and engage in a large meal or a feast, prepared for this day, as a sacramental custom.
It is also celebrated to give honors to the ancestors and the other Norse gods. And, to show gratitude towards the abundance in our lives. It resonated with abundance, feasting and family.
CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS OF THE FREYSBLOT
Fresh loaves of bread along with a sacramental meal or a feast is prepared on July 31st or of August 1st, to honor the Norse gods and the ancestors.
The bread is then sacrificed symbolically to start the sacramental feast. Modern followers also set up a simple altar with items that represent the season of harvest. We use the autumn colors, green, brown and yellow to craft items, that represent the fertility of the season. We use non-scented candles along with sickle, woven baskets, grains, fresh fruits and veggies, honey, wine, flowers, corn and baked bread, to enhance the beauty of the sacramental feast.
Before sacrificing, we pray for the blessings, abundance and the gifts of the gods, that they posses and were bestowed upon. And, pray to the gods to shower us with utmost happiness, blessings, abundance and food, in the upcoming cooler months of the year.
RECIPE FOR THE SACRIFICIAL BAKED BREAD
Bake the dough for the bread for 40 minutes, at about 350 degrees or until golden brown. After baking, place it on a wire rack to cool down and brush it with melted butter. Sprinkle some herbs if you like. The bread is ready to be used in the Freyfest ritual. Here are some famous loaves of bread that the Norse bake, on this holy day:
Freyfest is a holiday that the Norse celebrate, to reconnect to our Norse gods and to the holy spirits of the ancestors. We prepare a sacramental feast to honor them and show gratitude for the blessings that we have.